Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Today is the last day of August. Where did the summer go? Looking forward to the cooler temperatures that September usually brings. Light rain is falling outside now as I write this. I'm delighted to share with you a couple of novels that I just finished reading. And to think, I once was a non-reader. Just goes to show that a person can change.

Spooky old houses fascinate me. How about you?


By Melanie Robertson-King



Do you like to wander through old, abandoned houses, hoping maybe to spot a ghost? Do you wonder what happened to the family or families that once lived there? Do you enjoy discovering secrets?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’ll want to read THE SECRET OF HILLCREST HOUSE, by Author Melanie Robertson-King. And I forgot to mention there’s a pretty hot romance, with some graphic scenes, as well.


From the very first pages of the story, the author gives us a mystery to solve when Jessica Maitland sees someone on the porch of the old house she just bought. It’s supposed to be empty, and has been for a long time, but rumors do say the house is haunted. Has Jessica seen a ghost or is it only her imagination? And that’s just the beginning of weird happenings in Jessica’s life. She’s not interested in romance; neither is Alain Fournier, police constable of the town. When the two of them meet, however, they try hard to not get involved with each other. Sometimes love knows best.


Told from both Jessica’s and Alain’s points of view, the reader learns each of their stories and also makes amazing discoveries along with the characters about the old house and its own story. They also learn a lot about themselves.


Characters that could be your next door neighbors, a good mystery to solve, and a romance that goes from hand-holding to sizzling. Melanie Robertson-King has covered them all. So enjoy reading THE SECRET OF HILLCREST HOUSE. I did.
This cover is magical and sure caught my attention! How about you?
By Victoria Simcox
Good things don’t always happen when we want them to, and we have to wait. The waiting often is worth it, though. Take Author Victoria Simcox’s latest novel, THE MEDALLION (THE BERNOVEM CHRONICLES BOOK 3) in her series.  After reading the first two books I looked forward to the next one. And it finally is here.
 In THE MEDALLION (THE BERNOVEM CHRONICLES BOOK 3) we meet our favorite characters again, along with some not so favorite characters, the troublemakers, of course. As we travel along with Kristina and Hector through the world of Bernovem, in their search for the Wizard Azaril, we encounter all sorts of strange creatures: angels, a dragon, serpent, and bats. The author describes each character vividly, making them seem almost alive.
Then there’s Sentiz, the queen, on a quest of her own to find the Medallion and insure she’ll be the ruler of Bernovem. Several plots are going on in the story, and the author switches to different point-of-view characters to let the reader see their thoughts and reactions to the events taking place.
If you enjoy reading about magic, amazing and unusual creatures, some good, some evil, then pick up a copy of THE MEDALLION and travel along with Kristina and the other characters as they face almost impossible odds to reach their goals.  Victoria Simcox has written another lovely story that will charm you and have you waiting for the next book in the series.
These are quite different kinds of novels. I enjoy a variety. Do you, or do you prefer to read one kind of book?
Happy Reading!

Monday, August 29, 2016


Quote for the week:  A person's a person, no matter how small. Dr. Seuss

Today is picture day because I'm so unorganized right now. It's a long, boring story. Not interesting. I have reviews and a forthcoming seminar to talk about soon, once I get everything together. Ha, ha.  
Enjoy our beautiful world!
These three pictures are the same evening (Saturday) just different areas of the sky.
This is the Northern sky.
This is the Western sky
This is the Southern sky.
Close up of Rain Lilies
AKA Prairie Lily, Field Lily
Lilies all over our field.
Who? Who?
Have a great week.
Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Ashelyn Drake/Kelly Hashway has another new book to tell you about. I'm so excited to share her cover reveal with you. 

Isn't this a beautiful cover?
When Mia Thompson and Jared Grande break up before college, they think that's the end for them.
But two years later, Mia is stalking Jared's Facebook page and he's contacting her every chance he gets. Even though they're both seeing other people, they can't seem to say good-bye to the past they shared.
One way or another, they'll have to figure out how to love again. Is it time to get back together or time to move on?
Congratulations, Ashelyn. Sounds romantic.
All Links for Ashelyn Drake:
Author Goodreads:
Book Goodreads:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Today, I'm delighted to share Author Janet K. Brown's latest novel with you.  You may recall awhile back that we had the cover reveal for WORTH FORGIVING. Now, we learn more about Katie and her life. Enjoy.

Worth Forgiving


Second in the Wharton Rock Series



Prejudice and mistrust hinders an ex-con, drug addict’s new beginning.


The state of Texas releases from prison Katie Smith. Full of optimism, she sets out to get a job, rent her own place, and make a home for her eight-year-old daughter, but Katie gave away her daughter three years ago. She could use a friend, but her past choices threaten to doom her to continued failure.


Larry Pullman graduated from seminary with high marks, but the fact that he has no wife makes finding a preaching job almost impossible. It doesn’t help that running from God as a teenager gave him a past that he can’t undo. All he needs is an ex-con, drug addict messing up his life, but then why did God lead him to her? Or did He?


Isn’t it enough that Lacey Chandler gave her sister’s daughter a home? Does that mean she has to clean up Katie’s messes forever?


Could it be that Katie is not Worth Forgiving?

Interviewer: We’re here today to interview the star of the book, Worth Forgiving. Give us your name, Ma’am.


Star: Katie Smith


Interviewer: Short and sweet. So where do you live?


Star: Not some small country town, for sure. I live in the bustling city of Apache Falls, Texas.

Katie was interviewed. Here's what she has to say.

Interviewer: Oh, that’s nice. Does your family live there also?


Star: Oh, no, they love Wharton Rock, but let me tell you this, Sugar. In Wharton Rock, everyone knows your business. Gossip runs wild. You can’t escape it, you know what I mean? And I would never live with my mother. She drives me crazy trying to run my life, and my sister . . . She runs down everything I do. Everything. And since she’s married to Wharton Rock’s police chief, they’ll make sure I return to prison.


Interviewer: So you’ve been in prison? What did you do?


Star: (Her face flames.) I helped with the kidnapping of my daughter, but I knew she’d be okay. I would never hurt Rachel. Honest. Soon, I’ll have a place of my own, and she can come live with me. Everything will be okay again.


Interviewer: That’s nice. Where do you live now?


Star: (She rolls her eyes.) A halfway house with a bunch of other ex-cons. It’s terrible. They keep accusing me of going back to drugs, but I’m clean. I can’t wait to get away from there. I may move back in with Collin.


Interviewer: Who’s Collin?


Star: We dated before prison. He picked me up from there. He’s a hunk. Yeah, I should go to his place. He’d love that. Of course, he’d love me getting back in the drug scene, too. (She lowers her voice.) He hurt me.


Interviewer: So you don’t have anyone that loves you?


Star: (Hands on hips) I know how to get a man. I’ve never wanted for male companionship. Even Mom and my sister Lacey love me. I just can’t stand the stress of their demands, that’s all. I want to have fun, and Lacey is the do-gooder, no partying type.

Interviewer: Sounds like the men you attract always want something from you though. That’s a shame.


Star: Boy, are you ever right there. Well, except for Larry. I’ve never met anyone like him. He treats me real nice. He knows what I am and what I’ve done, and he still seems to believe in me. I can’t understand a guy like that. I told him to stay away. I’m bad. I told him. Still, my heart turns into mush when he’s around. I just don’t know what to do with feelings like that. I would ruin him. He’s a cop, and a preacher, too. Imagine that. Besides, I intend to get my own place, move my daughter in with me, and hold my head high.


Interviewer: Well, thanks, Katie, for talking with us. We all wish you well, but it sounds pretty impossible.


Star: Just watch me.


Interviewer: Maybe I should ask Janet K. Brown if she thinks you can do it.

Wow! That's some interview.  You can pre-order here, 

Now, meet the author.

Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles.

     Worth Forgiving, an inspirational women’s fiction, is the second in her Wharton Rock series. Her only non-fiction is Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.

Worth Forgiving marks Brown’s fourth book. Who knew she had a penchant for teens and ghosts? She released her debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, in July, 2012.

     Janet and her husband love to travel with their RV, work in their church, and visit their three daughters, two sons-in-law and three perfect grandchildren.

     Janet teaches workshops on writing, weight loss, and the historical settings of her teen books. The author uses her platform of recovering compulsive overeater to weave stories of hope for addiction, compulsion, or impossible situations.


on Twitter at


Monday, August 22, 2016


Quote for the week: Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it. Bruce Lee

Today, I have some reviews. I'm trying to reduce the size of the book tower in my closet. Enjoy.


By Katherine Applegate


I love animals, domesticated and wild. I hate to see animals mistreated, as though they have no feelings. I’ve often thought keeping an animal in a cage goes against nature. If you love animals too, then you must read THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, Newbery Winner by Katherine Applegate.


Ivan is a silverback gorilla. I know very little about gorillas but after reading the first few pages of the novel, where Ivan speaks to the reader, telling us about himself, with a touch of sadness as well as acceptance and even a bit of humor, I loved Ivan.


Then there’s the elephant Stella and Bob, the dog. Later ,Ruby, a baby elephant, comes into the story. Reading about their lives made me angry and sad. How can humans treat animals with such cruelty? Of course, some treat people just as bad, or worse.


The author’s writing is beautiful. In sparse, honest sentences, Ivan and the other animals tell their stories. I felt their pain and the helplessness of each one's situation. Everyone, from school-age children to adults should read this novel and see the thoughts of the animals, then, perhaps they would understand that animals have feelings and hurt and want love, much the way people do. I highly recommend this story for school libraries and classrooms.




By Clare Vander pool (ARC from publisher)


Sometimes, a person has little control over his/her life. In the case of a child, the parent usually is in charge. NAVIGATING EARLY, by Author Clare Vanderpool, is the story of Jack Baker who travels from his home in Kansas, across the states to a boarding school in Maine, near to the Naval Shipyard, where his father was stationed. When Jack meets Early Auden, the weirdest boy in school, an adventure begins for the two.


NAVIGATING EARLY is the story of a quest. As the boys search for the meaning of their lives, they encounter pirates, treasures, secrets, and a bear, along with other characters that influence their thoughts in different ways.


Is a person really strange because he counts jelly beans and reads numbers as if they’re a story? And what is this obsession with Pi? The story will have young readers wondering about many of the things the two boys are searching for.


The author has written a story that young readers should find fascinating. A great addition to elementary, middle school libraries.




By Elle Straus


Have you ever wished you could travel back in time, perhaps to a specific era and or place? Well, in CLOCKWISE, YA time travel novel by Elle Straus, you can travel back to the 19th Century with Casey, which is one of my favorite time periods. So much happened in the 1800s, and the reader sees some of it in the author’s story.


Casey is a time traveler. She doesn’t plan it; it just happens. Well, one time, Nate, the boy she likes but who has a girlfriend, accidentally goes back to the 1860s with Casey. Now, how does one explain to a surprised time traveler why the people are dressed differently and act differently, and where the heck are they, anyhow?


CLOCKWISE is a fun read. Poor Casey faces one problem after another, and not only when she’s in another time period. If only she could control when and where she went. The author also gives the reader a bit of history, which I, as a history lover, enjoyed.


So, add a copy to your TBR list and have fun traveling to another time and place with our heroine.  I did.


Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


So, today is Wednesday, and this has been an unusual week. For some reason all of my appointments made a year ago are this week. Monday was the eye exam. Yes, I still have two eyes, thank heavens. Wednesday is the heart doctor. I certainly hope I still have a heart. Tuesday was the biggie though, the MRI. Have you ever had an MRI? This was my first. I'd heard such horrid tales I wasn't sure what to expect. But I didn't want to take any relaxer or medication, like I'd heard they'd give you if you wanted it, and drive home under the influence. I'd probably get arrested and end up in jail. So I decided to be brave and face the music, sober.

This is what I saw, or something similar, after the nurse or technician explained things to me. I don't recall details of exactly what the thing looked like. Well, I had to remove my glasses, so everything was sort of a blur. But this is an example of an MRI machine.

Image from Wikipedia
Anyhow, I followed instructions like a good girl, said a long prayer to God, snuggled in with the earphones that evidently didn't work because I sure heard a lot of noise, like someone was drilling up a cement highway and other sounds I couldn't identify. In between the blasts from the machine, I listened to country religious music. The Old Rugged Cross, among others. Now that was neat, if the darned MRI machine hadn't drowned out most of the songs.

I tried to measure time, too. The tech had said it would take 20 to 25 minutes. I was pretty close when everything went quiet, and she pulled me out of the monster, my neck scanned.

So, my  lesson is don't worry about what might happen. Relax, listen to good music, and pray a lot.

Have you met the MRI machine, or others that weren't nearly as scary as you thought?

Happy Reading.

Monday, August 15, 2016


Quote for the week: That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much. Robert Louis Stevenson

And now for the big moment. I'm so excited to be hosting Author Stephanie Faris on her book tour for her latest stories Piper Morgan Joins the Circus and Piper Morgan in Charge. The first thing I noticed about these books is the adorable covers. Just perfect for young readers.

  Now I want to join the circus. The cover makes it look like so much fun.
Piper Morgan's in Charge? I've got to see exactly what that means.

When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.

In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!

In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?
Stephanie Faris shares a little about herself and why she created the adorable character Piper Morgan..
A Little Girl on an Adventure

by Stephanie Faris

When I was a little girl, I loved to read. I gravitated toward stories about young girls on adventurous journeys—even better if they had magic powers like the characters in Escape to Witch Mountain. As I grew older, my love for reading about normal people in extraordinary situations never ended. There’s something so exciting about being taken on a journey without even having to leave your home.
When I created Piper Morgan, I’d actually just read a truckload of Junie B. Jones books. Junie was an ordinary young girl doing ordinary things and somehow the author made it extraordinary. I didn’t want to keep my chapter book character in a classroom, though. I wanted her to go adventuring.

She’s still an ordinary girl. She just gets to perform in the circus and work in a principal’s office and help out at a rescue shelter, among other adventures. Her mom gets to work in all of these fun jobs, but only for a short while. That keeps Piper moving around the country.

Piper’s adventures aren’t too over-the-top. She doesn’t travel to other planets or go back in time. She isn’t hopping a plane to Europe or Australia. She’s staying in America, experiencing the lives our neighbors and friends live every day. And that, I think, makes her extraordinary. It also (hopefully) helps young readers see the many things they can do when they grow up. They may even learn a few things along the way.


Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 








Wednesday, August 10, 2016


I suppose that most stories are based on an event in the author's life, or in the life of a family member or friend. Many stories come to mind from a newspaper article or something we've read or heard about somewhere. Like they tell us, stories are everywhere. Have you ever written a book about an incident in your life? I have, perhaps more than one. But today, I'm thinking about the story behind my picture book WEIRD NOISES IN THE NIGHT.

If you've read it, you know what the weird noises are. If not, I'm not telling, but just want to mention why I wrote the book.

Several years ago, my husband and I were visiting our son and daughter-in-law in South Carolina. We sat in the living room, talking, as folks do. I kept hearing this weird noise, but couldn't decide what it was. I won't tell you what it sounded like because that would give away the answer. No one else seemed to notice, or if they did, they paid it no attention. Curious me had to know what was going on, so after a while, I decided to find out. I excused myself from the room and went in the direction where I heard the sound. It wasn't a constant noise, just every now and then.

Yep, I discovered what it was. You know I'm a camera bug, so I ran to the bedroom and brought my camera back to get a picture or two. (Of course, my son knew about it but was used to the noise so he didn't pay attention to it.)

I did not write the book for a while, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of turning it into a picture book. So that's what I did.


Weird noises in the night send the imaginations of three young girls soaring. Is it the rain, a dragon, an alien from outer space, or a ghost? As Olivia and her best friends seek the source of the sound, they discover that the truth is not as scary as their imaginations. Suggested age range for readers: 6-9.


Outside, lightning lit up the sky like fireworks. Thunder grumbled. And then...

The lamp blinked. The lights went out. The walls creaked.

Olivia gasped and pointed a trembly finger. "Look! In the closet."

Two eyes, as shiny as marbles, sparkled in the dark.

Three girls shrieked and dove under their sleeping bags, like dolphins plunging under a wave.




What people are saying:

Beverly Stowe McClure has struck a perfect balance between spooky and fun. When the lights go out, the three friends have to discover what the strange sounds are. Olivia and Emily offer all sorts of crazy possibilities, which Autumn—the practical one of the three—disputes. Finally they go on a quest to find the source of the noise and what they find is sure to leave your child giggling. Nicely illustrated by Eugene Ruble, Weird Noises in the Night is a good story to snuggle up with your child to read again and again. PKSM

Olivia, Autumn, and Emily are together one night working on school projects when there’s an intense storm outside. They hear eerie, horrifying sounds that set their imaginations wild. What could it be? This book had a nice, cozy, slumber party setting and I liked the touch of horror and suspense, although everything isn’t as bad as it seems. MS

How about you? Have you written books based on an event in your life?

Happy Reading.

Monday, August 8, 2016


Quote for the week: A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. Harry S. Truman

Today, I'm excited to share with you Author Rebecca Green Gasper's latest novel. Enjoy the read.

I like this girl's expression.
Blurb from Good Reads:
Harley Jenkins has no idea how she’s going to get out of the mess her roommate has dragged her into. The university has placed her on probation and the disciplinary board has demoted her from her position in local news to the fashion section of her school’s online newspaper. She doesn’t even care about fashion and is far from trendy. She wants to be an investigative journalist.

So when she hears the rumors that something major went down at her dorm, she sees the opportunity to detract herself from her impeding board meeting and the problem with her roommate. A girl has fallen to her death, and Harley is sure the authorities are missing something. She’s determined to do anything to find out what happened, including hiding out in small spaces to get information even though she’s claustrophobic.

But when another girl ends up in the hospital, Harley’s convinced the two situations are related. Soon Harley finds herself torn between solving the mystery of the girls and solving her own issues. With the probation hanging over her, a fashion article due, and the upcoming hearing approaching, Harley thinks about backing out of her investigation. Will Harley be able to stuff herself into yet another tight corner to solve the mystery, or will she have to back off to solve her own issues? Will the spy in her even let her dismiss this odd mystery?

Join Harley during her freshman year as she takes on mysteries around her college town. This is Book One in a series.

My Review:


By Rebecca Green Gasper

Ah, those college days. Possessing and selling pot. Girl falling to her death. Other girls feeling weird. Wait! What’s going on? Sometimes students at a university learn more than the courses they sign up to take.

In A SPY IN ME, THE HARLEY FILES, FRESHMAN YEAR, BOOK 1, by Author Rebecca Green Gasper, Harley Jenkins is in trouble, and it’s only her freshman year at the university. One girl is dead, with no clues as to what happened. Other girls keep fainting for no apparent reason. Harley, no, not named for the motorcycle, is suspicious about the death and what is causing girls to get sick. Determined to solve the mystery, Harley and her reluctant friend Jade start nosing around to find a connection between the victims. But will they discover the truth in time to save other lives?

Rebecca Green Gasper has written a story that sadly may hit on the truth about young girls that will do most anything to be what they consider beautiful. I won’t say any more because I don’t want to give away anything, but the characters could be the teens at most any college or university, large or small.

A SPY IN ME, THE HARLEY FILES, FRESHMAN YEAR, BOOK 1, would make a great addition to high school libraries and public libraries. The story could help young readers who believe they know all the answers to realize that maybe they don’t know as much as they think they do. It might help them keep from making a bad mistake, too. An enjoyable read with a good message for teens, and older folks as well.

The author sent me an e-copy of the book for my honest opinion. I think teens would benefit from reading the story.

Available at Amazon

About the Author:

Rebecca Green Gasper is an author, speaker, and photographer. She is an advocate for speaking out against teen violence. Before becoming a writer, she was a high school special education teacher working primarily with students with emotional disabilities. She also worked as a tutor and coach. Rebecca loves pinwheels, bright colors, daisies, music and dancing. Rebecca grew up in the mountains of Colorado. She now resides outside of Denver with her husband and two children.                 

Congratulations on your latest novel, Rebecca.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


This is a busy, busy Wednesday, so let's get started. First. I'm excited to be a part of C. Lee McKenzie's book launch for her latest novel SIGN OF THE GREEN DRAGON. The book we've been waiting for is here. If you haven't read it yet, you should. And if you have sons, grandsons, neighbors' boys, friends kids, including girls, give them copies, so they can take the journey and solve the mystery along with Sam and his friends.
 This is a fascinating cover. Sure catches my attention.


Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure.

After six months in a new school, Sam’s finally fitting in. He’s the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam’s guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen.

When teammates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. Inside, a bony hand clutches a map with a note, promising treasure.

With Joey and Roger, Sam sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure. When some puzzle pieces start to make sense, the boys become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb.

Sign of the Green Dragon gets a high five for fantasy, fun and some fearsome adventure. If you like intrepid would-be knights on impossible and dangerous quests, you’ll love this story. As one reader says, this book, “has more twists than a dragon’s tail.”

Buy now to jump into the adventure.



And other stores

You can see my earlier review here:

Now for the fabulous Author's bio:

I love to write for young readers. Sign of the Green Dragon is my third Middle Grade novel. Alligators Overhead and the sequel, The Great Time Lock Disaster were my first two. I’m proud to be a hybrid author with three Indie books out along with four traditionally published young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative and Sudden Secrets. It’s fun to know both sides of this writing business. 

When I’m not writing I’m thinking about it or scratching my head over how all of this started. 

Media Links:

C. Lee McKenzie has written another winner.
This is also the first Wednesday of August, which means THE INSECURE WRTIERS' SUPPORT GROUP

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group 
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Link to this page.

Awesome Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder o f the IWSG.

His awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG will be Tamara Narayan, Tonja Drecker, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Lauren @ Pensuasion, Stephen Tremp, and Julie Flanders!

The question for August is "What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring  writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?"

Great question. It sure brings back memories.

When I was in eighth grade, my English teacher sent my poem "Stars" to a high school anthology and it was published in YOUNG AMERICA SINGS. However, at the time, I was not an aspiring writer. I only wrote the poem so I wouldn't flunk English.

Fast forward a few years. I had no desire to be a writer. My family kept me busy. I was a teacher in  an elementary school. Actually, my students gave me the first hint that I might enjoy writing, though they hadn't a clue what I was thinking. We did a lot of fun experiments in science, hands on stuff. The kids also were very creative in art class. As I watched my students, having fun and learning at the same time, I started thinking, perhaps some of the children's magazines would like to publish our activities or other things we did at school.   

Do you remember the fire drills where we went outside, lined up, and waited for the all-clear signal to go back into the building? In my science/health classes, we also talked about having a fire drill at the kids' homes. It was a program called EDITH, Exit Drills In The Home. So ... 

Yes, you guessed it. I wrote an article about EDITH, which teaches children what to do if their home catches fire.  Then I searched for children's magazines that might be interested. This was years ago, so I don't remember how many places I sent it, but one day I came home from school, and an envelope was in the mailbox. Inside was a copy of the magazine and a check. My article had sold, and I didn't even know. This was a TV Guide type of magazine. I was so excited, for I'd made my first sale. There was no stopping me.

The year was 1992
I still have my $50 bucks, framed.
If I can do it, you can do it.
Happy Reading and Writing!

Monday, August 1, 2016


Quote for the week:  Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Helen Keller

#InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. They post on the first Monday of every month with a new topic. They're all authors, but you don't have to be to participate.

The idea of #InkRipples is to toss a word, idea, image, whatever into the inkwell and see what kind of ripples it makes. You can spread your own ripples by blogging about the topic any day of the month that fits your schedule. Just be sure to include links back to Katie, Kai and Mary.
There is no wrong way to do #InkRipples (with the exception of following basic human decency.) It's about having a conversation, sharing ideas, and connecting. So if this sounds at all interesting, please do participate in whatever way you can. Feel free to use any of the meme's images (created by the wonderful Mary Waibel). I'm having fun with this. I think you will too.
The topics for the rest of 2016 are:
August:  Guilty Pleasures
September:  Banned Books
October:  Masks
November:  Heritage
December:  Cookies

So, as I looked at Guilty Pleasures I wondered what to write. The first thing that popped into my mind was this: 

My favorite: Angel food cake, strawberries, and whipped cream.
Then I thought of this:
Vanilla ice cream with chocolate topping and a few nuts.
And this:

Pecan pie.
I told one of my sons when he was a little guy that I had a sweet tooth. He wanted to know which one. I said all of them. I eat other things too, such as:
Fruits and Veggies
Pleasures, yes.
Guilty, no.

Now, I'm hungry. Goodbye, gotta see what's in the kitchen.

Happy Eating, mmm, Happy Reading.